Wardens step up their bid to beat dog fouling

SB Wardens
SB Wardens

THE war on dog fouling in Hawick has intensified with a team of wardens and officials conducting the first of several high-profile patrols around the town.

A squad of eight wardens have joined local councillors on two occasions in a bid to highlight the issue and target the town’s hot spots – including areas such as Wilton Park, Stirches, Wellfield Road, Duke Street, Oliver Crescent, Gladstone Street, Laidlaw Terrace, the Weensland area, Earl Street and The Moat. During the two days, the group witnessed 63 owners picking up after their pets, and issued two fixed-penalty notices.

And local councillor Stuart Marshall says he believes the exercise has already had an impact. He said: “There has been a marked improvement in Havelock Street, which is an area that is usually a hot spot.”

He went on: “I thoroughly enjoyed the walkabout with wardens from Hawick and also the Kelso area. These high-profile initiatives are beneficial in showing the public that we are in full support of the service. And I believe one ticket was issued in the Havelock Street area last week, so in my mind we need to let people know the wardens are very active.”

Also among those on the patrols were Craig Blackie, SB wardens manager, and Ray Beard, head of neighbourhood services at Scottish Borders Council, which has revealed that it plans to keep up the momentum by rolling the initiative out across the region.

Keith Taylor, senior warden, said: “We plan to revisit the town with similar patrols in the coming months and throughout 2012, and will also patrol other Borders towns and villages. The majority of dog walkers are being very responsible and clearly take ownership for clearing up after their pets. However, there are a few who still need to be reminded and when these irresponsible people are caught they will be issued with a fixed-penalty notice”.

And alluding to the offenders, councillor Marshall says they cannot drop their guard. He added: “Although Havelock Street has improved, I don’t know how long it will last. I hope this was the first phase in a very worthwhile exercise, and I would certainly like to see this initiative in other parts of my ward.”

Fixed-penalty notices are issued by wardens under the dog fouling (Scotland) Act 2003, the penalty being a £40 fine. Failure to pay this within 28 days results in the amount increasing to £60 and legal proceedings.